Scams Targeting Seniors | A True Story (Part 2)
When Tom arrived at his father’s house, he was aghast to find the two plumbers cutting into the concrete patio in the backyard. When he asked his father what was going on, the elderly parent said that he told them to stop, but they argued they needed to continue working and dig into the piping below the house since the whole neighborhood is backed up because of this clog. The father admitted how absurd it sounded since his other plumbing appliances were working fine (the shower, tub, kitchen sink, and toilets).
Immediately upon hearing that, Tom intervened. He explained to these two plumbers that his mother was in the hospital due to the extreme duress of surgery and for them to treating his father this way was no better for his health. He told them he’d pay for whatever work they’ve done, but ordered them to leave immediately.
They didn’t, arguing this work needed to be done for the sake of the neighborhood. Immediately, Tom called Marsha since she’s a former CPA and had power of attorney for their parents.
Marsha couldn’t believe the contractors refused to stop working and told them to stop or they’d call the police. She requested an itemized bill as soon as she arrived so that she could pinpoint where the costs were going.
By the time Marsha got there, she was given a bill of $2,346.31 and she paid it on the spot to make the workers go away. According to the bill however, their assessment did not involve digging up the patio or the phenomenal amount of money they claimed to need. In fact, the company website had a video on the site for how they would fix the problem and it was not costly and certainly didn’t involve pipes outside/under the house.
Because of this, it was clear that Beacon’s employees fudged the facts and cutting up the concrete patio was not necessary, but at this point vandalism. Given that the two are plumbers, they cannot even fix the damage they’ve done, meaning they’ll have to hire a contractor (from a different company) to fix it… fix something that wasn’t BROKEN in the first place. Clearly, these people were trying to take advantage of an elderly man living alone.
Soon thereafter, Marsha called customer relations and told them she would contest the bill. However, Marsha knew she wasn’t going to take any action until after her passed away as she didn’t want to go through a legal battle while mourning and trying to be there for her parents.
What made matters worse was all the reviews Marsha found online about Beacon plumbing. Some seemed reasonable, others contested a $1,000 bill, but several reviewers stood out calling the company “crooks” who “stalk the elderly” and make unwarranted changes and “repairs” where they’re not needed.
Currently, the Washington State Attorney General is investigating Beacon Plumbing for this outlandish behavior and egregious treatment of elderly people. Until a definitive case is made, beware scams targeting seniors by researching ahead of time!
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